|Yamaha RX-V2095 Receiver|
|Home Theater AV Receivers AV Receivers|
|Written by Tony Kaklamanos|
|Monday, 01 February 1999|
In a nutshell, Yamaha has created the RX-V2095; a seven channel - two rack unit sleek black box - drenched with so many features that it once would have taken a stack of processing gear to duplicate its performance. Priced modestly at $1,599.00, the RX-V2095 is well worth a closer look. Let's get crackn'.
First off, the 7-channels include; left /right main, center, left/right rear effects (surround) and left/right front effects. The addition of the front effect channel adds depth to the sound image. These effect channels are controlled by Yamaha's Digital Sound Field Processing, Cinema DSP, and Tri-Field Processing. Did I forget to mention this unit also has stored away built-in Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Pro Logic? Chock-full.
Yamaha's proprietary Tri-Field Processing applies digital sound field technology to Dolby Digital and DTS creating a realistic movie theater experience. The DSP functions deliver live music performances right in your home. There are a total of 36 sound field modes to choose from which recreate acoustic personalities of actual venues including; 35mm and 70mm Cinema, the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, Anaheim Stadium and New York's Village Gate & Bottom Line to name just a few. You can also manipulate the room size, liveliness, and gain parameters within each mode through the comprehensive New Learning and Programmable remote control. This advanced remote control has learning capability and can be programmed for up to 13 macros, allowing you to perform a sequence of functions by pressing a single button.
Digging a little deeper, the RX-V2095 utilizes discrete power transistors rather than IC chips in it's 100W (x5) amplifier section for a clean, accurate and natural sound. The back panel is neatly layed out with plenty of inputs and outputs for you to survive the long winters and winds of change that occur while developing a home theater environment. For instance, 6-channel inputs are included so that you're ready for external decoders or devices that may be required for future multi-channel formats. The back panel also features: pre-outs for the front and rear effects channels, center channel and subwoofer. Four digital inputs accommodate DVD/LD, TV/DBS, CD and Tape/MD. The CD and DVD/LD options have both optical and coaxial inputs. The A/V section includes three audio and five video inputs. All of the video inputs include both RCA and S-video terminals. Very Cool.
Wait, there's more. The low impedance drive and switching capability of this unit allows you to switch between 4 and 8 ohms that can handle virtually any load from a variety of speakers. In addition, the RX-V2095 offers Auto Priority Input Selection which automatically prioritizes different input formats that are connected to the same source and selects in order; coaxial digital, optical digital, and analog inputs. Speaking of automation, there is also an Auto Sound Decoder that senses DTS or Dolby Digital signals and automatically switches the receiver to the appropriate mode. And the hits just keep coming. This receiver is also capable of sending a line-level audio and video signal to a second room, allowing the operation of a second 5- or 7-channel home theater system that is controlled by the secondary remote control.
To evaluate the RX-V2095, I utilized the Aura LSCP-2 Line Source Cinema Package for the mains, center, surround and subwoofer channels. For the front effects channel I used Dynaudio Audience 40s. My input device was the Yamaha DVD-S700.
The performance of the RX-V2095 was an eye, ear and mouth opening experience. Some skeptics out there may be raising an eyebrow to the whole Digital Sound Field Processing, Cinema DSP, and Tri-Field Processing thing. Don't be fooled, this technology really does work. I slid in the Rolling Stones' Get Your Ya-Ya's Out (Abkco Records) and flipped to the Anaheim Stadium mode ... I could swear it sounded as if Mick was shaking his finger and prancing around in my living room. This feature was more fun than eating cotton candy barefoot. On a more subtle note, I also listened to Zoot Sims' Quietly There (Fantasy, Inc.) with an open mouth that soon found its way into a smile. The transient response of Zoot's tenor sax was both soothing and revealing. However, the sweeping brush strokes on the snare drum coupled with the faint sound of sliding fingers on round wound strings of the upright bass made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
Your home theater experience will become visceral with effects such as 35mm and 70mm Cinema which multiplies the effects of Dolby Prologic. However, what really blew me away was the DTS and Dolby Digital Effects which include; Digital Sci-Fi, Digital Spectacle, Digital Adventure and Digital General to name just a few. I set the unit to Digital Adventure when viewing In God's Hands (Columbia/Tristar), a film about big wave surfers. The sound not only drew me into the environment – it spit me out again through the ominous sound of massive swells building into hollow tubes then closing out with a thunderous chest thump of low frequencies. I felt as if I should check my blood pressure. While viewing L.A. Confidential (Warner Bros.), I switched the effects to Digital Spectacle. In one of the more subtle scenes, officer Bud White yanks Christmas lights and decorations from the roof a house. I could distinguish which item was falling where; from the crackle of electrical arcing to the pop of the last light bulb breaking. Talk about imaging.
After about three hours of playing around with different modes, using a variety of parameters, I turned the Effects of the unit off completely. I was curious to hear what the RX-V2095 had to say about itself completely dry. Even though, I did get a little spoiled by all of the groovy effect treatments. To be objective, I sampled the same software that was used while reviewing the effects section. The result; clean, concise and natural. Although Mick seemed to be missing from my living room, his presence was still felt at all listening levels. With Zoot, all tonal qualities and dynamics resonated with truth and conviction. The only thing missing was the ambient-venue-mix feeling I got while listening to the DSP section.
All in all, there isn't anything too offensive about this unit. However, there were a couple of quirky flaws that suprised me. At first look there isn't a clear distinction between the front main and front effect speaker outputs. It seems it would have been a simple enough to add some type of nomenclature to indicate which set of outputs was for each channel. I turned to the owner's manual only to find that the orientation of the front mains was transposed. At second look, this really wasn't a big deal. Next, I didn't like the cosmetic finish on the programmable remote control, sort of a satin pearly silver. I know this might sound knit-picky, but usually Yamaha has exceptional industrial design. I wished they had selected a black finish.
I'm going to dodge phone calls, draw the blinds, and wear headphones to avoid having to send this receiver back to Yamaha. Obviously, I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this piece of gear. It contains plenty of power with an extraordinary amount of control over the effect parameters.
Lightheartedness aside, the unit is well thought out for present technology as well as future developments. Keep in mind, this is a sophisticated piece of gear and at the price point is very attractive, however, it does take a little time getting to know what this receiver has to offer. Truly a mixed bag of features. At the end of the day, you'd be nuts not to at least check this one out. Yamaha has come through. Naturally.